South Korean Team without South Koreans
Opponents and spectators could not find a single South Korean player on the team as Rising Star from South Korea prepared for the first match at this year's Dana Cup. Rising Star is in fact an academy team comprised entirely of girls from the Western Hemisphere, daughters of specialists who are stationed in South Korea for a shorter or longer time.
'Rising Star Academy was established in 2008 and brings girls from the entire world together to practice soccer. Rising Star is a very spacious academy where girls are equally welcomed regardless of their footballing level. Some of the girls have not even played football before starting at the academy,' explains Susanne Galsøe, who has lived in Busan for a year together with her husband and three children. The family is actually from Højene in Hjørring, and when the two high school teachers felt like trying something new they headed east. Here Susanne Galsøe and her husband teach at the International School BIFS in Busan, where students are typically children of specialists in the oil industry and shipbuilding, the military or education.
'Our children went to school at BIFS and practice football a couple of times a week at Rising Star Football Academy. The children are very dedicated. They go to school till 4 PM after which they practice football and take the bus home – for some of them the bus ride is 1,5 hours, so they have to be really serious about their football and we can also see that they have indeed improved even though the opponents at Dana Cup have been very good,' smiles Susanne Galsøe and Christina Seidenfaden – the latter is a trained surgical nurse, but she is a full-time housewife in South Korea.
In order to get a South Korean nurse authorization she has to be able to speak Korean fluently. And after just one year in South Korea she is unable to do so.
'The girls at Rising Star Football Academy do not only come from Busan, but from all over South Korea and even girls whose parents have actually moved home to their respective countries have come to Dana Cup. Thus, one of the girls has flow alone all the way from Washington D.C. to Denmark in order to play on the team,' Susanne Galsøe and Christian Seidenfaden explain.